5.30.2015

that time I bit my doctor (a birth story)

Welp. It only took me 20 months to post Porter's birth story. Being pregnant again is causing me to think about childbirth once again. Funny how that happens. And I sure never want to forget his story.
So here it is ...


Porter's birth story was anticipated to be short and sweet.
I could have written it days before he was even born and it would have gone something like this.

My baby was breech, with no signs of turning, so on October 21, 2013 I went in for my scheduled C-section. Dan and I arrived at the hospital at 6am while listening to relaxing music. I had a nice, calm epidural and my baby was born just after 8am on 10/21. It was magical.
But instead ... 
Porter's birth story goes something like this ...

On October 8, 2013 Dan and I were both home, getting ready to cook dinner. I was on the couch obeying my bed rest orders. Dan was in the kitchen preparing some hamburgers to grill. And Sherman was with his aunt and uncle getting some much needed exercise. Earlier that day I had gone to the hospital for my weekly biophysical and non-stress test. Everything looked good, but I still had extremely low fluid and our baby boy was still breech. Therefore, a C-section was scheduled for 10/21.

At 7:15pm on October 8, I was horizontal on the couch when I felt a sharp pain of sorts. Now remember this was my first baby and although I did take a childbirth class, nothing can tell you exactly what a contraction will feel like until you experience it. And even then ... was it even a true contraction? Maybe braxton hicks? Maybe false labor? Maybe pure over-exaggeration of a pregnant lady? I also wasn't sure if the small amount of liquid dripping down my leg was anything but a little pee because, let's be honest here, I was nearly nine months pregnant.

I mentioned casually to Dan that I thought I might have had a contraction, but that it was probably nothing.
I also mentioned that my water might have broken, but that is was probably nothing.
See a trend here?
I just could not comprehend that I might be going in to labor.
I was just at the doctor a few hours ago!
Everything was fine.
I had just scheduled my C-section for 10/21!
It was 10/8. It was not 10/21.
So, I told Dan to just relax ... it was probably nothing.
By 7:30pm I was having contractions about nine minutes apart. Dan told me to call the doctor and I said we should probably just wait it out a bit. Fifteen minutes later, the contractions were seven minutes apart. And they were getting longer. And more painful. So I called the on-call doctor and she asked if this was my first baby. I told her yes; I explained that he was breech and I had a C-section scheduled for 10/21, and his due date was 11/4. The doctor responded with, "Take it easy. Go take a bath. Relax. And call me if your contractions get to five minutes apart."   <-------    Preeeeety sure she thought it was just over-exaggeration of a pregnant lady too.

By the time I got out of the bath, I was in pain. Nothing that I couldn't handle, but every contraction was sending me to our cold, hardwood floors. I was on my hands and knees and couldn't imagine getting in any other position or thinking about anything but just breathing. Just breathe, Tiff. Just breathe. Just breathe.

It was 8:15pm. It had only been one hour since my very first contraction, but they were already five minutes apart, 1-2 minutes duration. This time Dan called the doctor. It was time to get my butt to the hospital. And fast.

Our hospital is about 15 minutes away from our house. The ride was tough. I just wanted to be back on my hands and knees, the only position I felt comfortable in. Dan just wanted to talk about how pretty the moon was. I could have slapped him on the face. The moon?! Who cares about the friggin' moon?! ;) By the time Dan dropped me off at the front door so that he could park, I was in excruciating pain. The contractions weren't giving me any time off and it seemed as though as soon as I got done with one contraction, another one soon approached. Dan helped me get checked in and before I knew it, I was in a wheelchair being wheeled off to the Birthing Triage.
I remember looking at the clock for the very last time when it had just hit 9:00pm. In between contractions, I remember nurses talking quietly, telling me to breathe, asking me to move here and do this and answer that. But I was in another world. A world that was causing me a whole lot of pain and discomfort. I have read birth stories before. Birth stories where women were in horrible pain, but after being checked, learned that they were only a couple of centimeters dilated. I was positive this would be my story as well. I'm kind of a baby when it comes to pain. I mean really, who enjoys being in pain?? So, I expected to be moaning and groaning over a centimeter or two.

The nurse eventually checked me.
I was 6 centimeters dilated.

This is where it got fun.
And I mean, really fun.

Porter was still breech. Therefore, we all knew a C-section was still in the plan. My doctor had been called in and the anesthesiologist had been notified. However, neither were there. Where the hell were they? And yes, I asked Dan this question 283 times. Or was it 1,283 times?

The pain was getting to be unbearable. I remember Dan rubbing my head and telling me to breathe and reassuring me that the doctor would be there soon. But I felt like something was wrong. This could not be normal. Does it seriously hurt this bad? I still remember vividly the instructor of our very first childbirth class saying "when you get to a 7, it's an out of body experience." And oh boy do I agree. I knew I was transitioning fast. I knew I had to be dilated to more than a 6. And if not, just shoot me now.
The rest of the story is pretty hazy. I remember the anesthesiologist coming in and calmly introducing himself. His name was Dave. And I disliked Dave so much in that moment because he had the goods but was not giving them to me. They had just recently put in my IV, so giving me an epidural right then was not an option. I had reached the point of tears. And lots of them.

Thirty years later my doctor finally walked in to our little birthing room. She was the first person to truly acknowledge how much pain I was in and told everyone to move a little quicker. I was rolled over to the OR and examined once again.

I was there.
I was 10 centimeters dilated.
And I was ready to have a baby with no pain medication whatsoever.

However, my baby was still breech. And although my little breech boy was trying his darnedest to join the world on his own (ouuuuch), a C-section was still inevitable. My doctor told me that I could now get an epidural. Hallelujah! Unfortunately, there were absolutely no breaks between contractions at this point. After delivery, the doctor showed me the chart of my contractions. It was a picture of large, challenging mountains. One mountain after the next. With no calm valleys in sight.
I remember meeting eyes with my doctor just before my epidural. In between "I can't do this" and "I'm going to die" I asked her "How do I do this?" ... and she said "Grab on to me."

Getting an epidural smack dab in the middle of a contraction, when you are dilated to a 10, is something that I hope I never have to experience again. Yes, I did it. Yes, I made it through. But holy moly did it hurt. I grabbed on to my doctor and let the needle and all the pain associated with it seep into my body while trying my best to ignore the additional pain only a "dilated to 10 contraction" can bring.

I was leaning over, holding on to my doctor's shoulders, my head gently resting on her left shoulder. And at the peak of all the pain ... I opened my mouth and put my teeth on that poor doctor's left shoulder and that is the last thing I remember about pain. I don't think I bit down hard, but who the heck knows? And why didn't they give me a piece of rope to bite down on instead of my surgeon's shoulder?
Now here's the part of the story that went just as we planned.
The epidural did it's job. My body started to relax. Dan was allowed back in the OR and we had ourselves a beautiful baby boy by Cesarean delivery. With a little "natural labor" on the side. :)

It wasn't perfect. It wasn't planned.
It hurt a lot.
But oh what a wonderful gift we were given.

Porter Gray Jones
10/08/13
10:14pm
7 lbs 2 oz
20 in